White House probes cyber attacks on its networks

The FBI, Secret Service and National Security Agency are all involved in the investigation

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The White House is investigating recent a cyber attack against unclassified computer networks used by employees of the Executive Office of the President (EOP), according to media reports.

The Washington Post cited unidentified sources reporting that the White House was alerted to the cyber breach by an ally and that the hackers are believed to be working for the Russian government.

The FBI, Secret Service and National Security Agency are all involved in the investigation.

Officials, however, refuse to comment on who was behind the attack, which reportedly caused temporary disruptions, and if data was taken, reported the Post.

“In the course of assessing recent threats, we identified activity of concern on the unclassified Executive Office of the President network,” said one White House official.

“We took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity ... Unfortunately, some of that resulted in the disruption of regular services to users. But people were on it and are dealing with it.”

The official said the technical measures to address the activity had led to limited access to some EOP network services. Some of the issues have been resolved, but the work continues.

Cyber security firms believe that last year’s cyber-espionage campaign that targeted NATO websites and Ukrainian government websites were also carried out by hackers affiliated with the Russian government.

American networks can also be “attractive targets” for hackers to “seek access to sensitive information,” the White House official added.

“We are still assessing the activity of concern.”

[With Reuters]

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